Eat Your Way Through the ‘Iolani School Fair This Weekend

The fare at the fair is anything but fair.

A new item on the ‘Iolani Fair roster: an okonomiyaki hot dog.
Photos: Courtesy of ‘Iolani School


Who knew the ‘Iolani School Fair, which runs today and Saturday, is such a foodie destination?


Find specialty hot dogs topped with all the fixings of okonomiyaki or nachos, malassadas topped with chili peppers, a chicken and pork gumbo inspired by chef Elmer Guzman that can be bought frozen and eaten later, and a huli-style beef sandwich that takes two days to make. The popular gourmet tent, which has been part of the fair for decades, will be serving lobster and shrimp rolls, bulgogi wraps, and lobster bisque with grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s even a 15-layer chocolate mousse crêpe cake created by chef Ronnie Nasuti of Tiki’s Grill & Bar in Waikīkī.


The lobster and shrimp roll, which will be served in the gourmet booth at the annual ‘Iolani Fair this weekend.


Thousands of volunteers help prepare all the food—much of which is made in-house—including more than 33,000 malassadas.


That’s in addition to the usual local carnival fare of grilled corn, fried noodles, beef stew, waffle dogs, shave ice, smoked turkey legs and, of course, sugar-coated malassadas. (‘Iolani sells more than 33,000 of them every year.)


“Food has always been a huge part of the fair and it’s just gotten better and better,” says Cathy Lee Chong, longtime communications director for the school. “It’s really become a great place for foodies. Honestly, as soon as the fair opens today at noon, I’m going down there to get a lobster roll.”


Credit Ernie Choy, an alum whose family owned the popular The Deli at He‘eia Kea Pier. He chairs the food committee, which comes up with new and interesting offerings every year.


Noon to 10:30 p.m. April 20 and 21, 563 Kamoku St., free admission,


SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to the 2018 ʻIolani Fair